Other names: Kooiker
The Nederlandse Kooikerhondje is an enthusiastic, friendly, reliable and obedient dog. Boasting a red coloured, fluffy feathered coat, they’re well-known for their striking looks.
Originating from Holland, this breed was originally a working dog, commonly used to lure ducks into cages. However, thanks to its lovely, warm and playful nature, this dog has now become increasingly popular as a family and companion dog.
While the Kooiker (as they’re also known) certainly needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, they’re more than happy to chill out on the sofa and have a good cuddle afterwards.
Key facts about the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje
Life expectancy :
Temperament :Affectionate Playful Hunter
Origins and history
This rare Dutch breed has been spotted in old family portraits which date back as far back as the 1500s. However, the breed was intensely developed in 1600s Holland, when it was popular as a working dog who lured ducks into cages.
However, the breed declined following the end of WWI, when more advanced guns meant shooting ducks was easier, and by 1939 only 25 Kooiker’s were known to exist. Thankfully, after a Dutch baroness took an interest in the breed, the breed gained some popularity and breeding momentum. They were eventually recognised as a breed in 1971.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 8 - Retrievers - Flushing Dogs - Water Dogs
Section 2 : Flushing Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje
Female : Between 14 and 16 in
Male : Between 15 and 17 in
Female : Between 22 and 33 lb
Male : Between 22 and 33 lb
Red-orange with white.
Type of coat
Thick, straight or wavy and waterproof. Beautiful feathering on the legs, ears and tail.
There’s simply no denying that the Kooikerhondje is a gorgeous-looking dog. The reddish, soft and fluffy coat stands out a mile away. In fact, the feathered tail is exactly what lures ducks into cages.
In terms of the body, the Kooiker is small- to medium-sized, athletic dog with a fairly muscular appearance for its size. The neck is long while the head is perfectly proportioned, with a defined stop, large, almond eyes and floppy, feathered ears. In terms of appearance, the Kooiker is fairly comparable to Spaniel breeds.
Good to know
The Kooiker is famed for its feathered tail, which attracts ducks as it moves back and forth.
The Kooikerhondje is at its happiest when with its family, and makes a loyal, devoted companion. This breed is known to stick closely to its owner, constantly wanting to please and cuddle up close.
With plenty of energy and a warm, friendly personality, it comes as no surprise that the Kooiker makes the perfect playmate. This is a breed who loves to get involved - whether it’s a simple game of catch, a family game, or agility sports, they’re in!
As long as this breed is well-exercised, it’s calm and relaxed in the home.
Despite its naturally friendly and approachable nature, the Kooiker does have a pretty high prey drive. While socialisation can help, do be aware that they may be tempted to chase small animals and wildlife.
Fearful / wary of strangers
The Kooiker can be reserved in front of people they don’t know, but as soon as introductions are made, they will be friendly and affectionate.
The Kooiker is super affectionate, and also rather dependent on their owner.
Behaviour of the Nederlandse Kooikerhondje
Generally, the Kooiker doesn’t cope with time alone. This breed loves people, and they spend too long without them they will be unhappy and may be destructive.
The Kooiker’s bark is rarely a problem, but they will make a noise if bored or alarmed by an intruder.
Tendency to run away
Due to their high prey drive, the Kooikerhondje may be tempted to run off and chase animals. However, because they’re so obedient once trained, a strong recall should be all you need to avoid problems.